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Fri, Mar

Security forces retake control of Nawzad district

South
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ana-operationOfficials on Friday said security forces had retaken control back of the strategic Nawzad district of southern Helmand province from the insurgents.

The provincial council deputy head on Thursday alleged the Nawzad district had fallen to the Taliban due to lack of coordination among security forces in the province.

Ibadullah Alizai told Pajhwok Afghan News Taliban militants had been attacking the district centre for many days. He warned if security forces did not increase coordination, other northern districts would also fall.

Col. Muhammad Rasool Zazai, spokesman for the 215th Maiwand Military Corps, told Pajhwok Afghan News the security forces had regained control of the district at around 12: 30pm on Friday.

Afghan National Army (ANA), Afghan Local Police (ALP) in Helmand and the regular police force from Kandahar took part in the operation, he added.

He said 150 insurgents had been killed and 40 others wounded in the firefight that started on Thursday. The forces also seized heavy arms and ammunition left by fleeing insurgents. Three soldiers were wounded in the gunbattle.

Earlier, Alizai alleged some security officials had committed negligence in their duty and should be removed.

Another member of the provincial council, Abdul Majeed Akhundzada, said only police had been fighting against Taliban insurgents in Nawzad and other northern districts without any support from the ANA or other security forces.

A Meshrano Jirga member from Helmand Mohammad Hashim Alokozai also said the ANA did not support police in their two days of fighting against militants in Nawzad.

He said police lacked enough resources including weapons and the military had not been supporting them. He said nine police and seven ANA troops had been killed in the clash. A security official said so far 18 security personnel had suffered casualties during clashes in Nawzad.